Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
In October, I launched Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society, which set out how we want to support people to live and age well. It also challenges the way we think about ageing. Today, I am publishing the delivery plan, to help us realise this vision.
Too often, getting older is linked to illness and decline and older people’s contributions to society are overlooked. From providing care to the young children in their families, to volunteering and coordinating local community services; from running businesses to sharing their knowledge and skills with future generations – older people’s contributions are wide, varied and valuable.
Older people have been directly involved in creating Age Friendly Wales. My Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing has been an invaluable source of knowledge, sharing ideas and representing the views of older people from across Wales. With help from this group and a diverse range of partners, we have produced the delivery plan to bring this strategy to life.
The delivery plan sets out how we will achieve the four key aims in the strategy. We will need the support of teams across Welsh Government, local authorities, health and social care, the third sector and voluntary groups across Wales – from meeting the housing needs of older people, creating opportunities to stay healthy and active, to ensuring that we have a transport system that is fit for purpose.
To support the delivery plan, we are allocating £1.1m to local authorities to support their efforts to gain membership of the World Health Organisation’s Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales will be providing valuable support and guidance to local authorities as they work towards age-friendly status.
Age Cymru will deliver a rights campaign as part of the delivery plan. Guidance has been produced for service providers and the public on respecting the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. Through a range of materials and products, including online videos and face-to-face networking groups, we will help to ensure that the rights of older people are respected.
Social cohesion and bringing generations closer together is a key theme which runs through the strategy. We know from our work in developing the strategy that there are many fantastic intergenerational projects across Wales. We want to be able to share this good work across Wales and inspire others. A video highlighting the best Wales has to offer will be shown at the International Intergenerational Week which begins on 25 April.
By acknowledging and valuing the contributions older people make, we can counter ageism and work across generations to create an age friendly Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.